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Car and Driver: Ford Changes 2017 Mustang Shelby GT350’s Standard, Optional Equipment

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2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

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Is there a such thing as a boring running change to an exciting car? The Mustang fanatics over at the Mustang6G forums might have stumbled across just such a phenomenon, having uncovered internal Ford documents that suggest the 2017 Mustang Shelby GT350 will—gasp—have different standard and optional features than did the 2016 model. Should Ford’s moves come to fruition, they mark a definite—if mild—departure for the second-sportiest Mustang on sale.
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According to the presentation slides Mustang6G uncovered, Ford plans to eradicate the 2016 Mustang Shelby GT350’s optional Track Package and instead make its adaptive dampers (MagneRide, in Ford-speak), aluminum strut-tower brace, rear spoiler, and transmission and differential coolers standard on the 2017 model. It isn’t clear what becomes of the current Shelby GT350 Track Package’s drive-mode selector or “heavy-duty” front-suspension springs, but we’d assume those, too, are made standard fare, as both were previously part of the Track Package. Speaking of the Track Pckage more broadly, it’s assumed that its contents will remain standard on the hard-core GT350R model.

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2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

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Here, the 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, with its oh-so-pre-2017 options mix.
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Other changes target the GT350’s less performance-minded option packages. The 2016 model’s Technology Package, which includes Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system and navigation, heated and cooled power front seats, and leather upholstery, as well as the MagneRide suspension and strut-tower brace, will henceforth be called the Convenience Package. Previously, the Tech Package couldn’t be paired with the Track Package, but the 2017 GT350’s standard Track bits can be combined with the Convenience Package, thus opening up a welcome build combination that wasn’t offered previously. The Convenience Package even adds a few extra goodies beyond what the Tech Package did, such as softer door trim and a nine-speaker sound system (versus only seven speakers before). New for 2017 is an Electronics Package, which was previously only offered on the GT350R and will bring a nine-speaker sound system, dual-zone automatic climate control, Sync 3, navigation, and softer door trim. The same package on the 2017 GT350R will add a radio, a backup camera, auxiliary gauges, floor mats, and a tire inflator and sealant kit.

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Notably absent in Ford’s materials for the 2017 Mustang Shelby GT350 is pricing of any kind; today, the GT350 currently starts at $49,995. Presumably, with the additional standard track equipment (which previously cost $6500 as part of the now-defunct Track Package) would inflate that price somewhat, but we’ll have to wait for the official 2017 information to come out to see. In the meantime, rest well, Mustang fans—Ford’s changes might be boring, but they sure are welcome. After all, the Track Package was a must-buy before, so making it standard simply removes a step for most buyers while allowing for a better-optioned base Shelby GT350 without needing to step up to the pricier GT350R.

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